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Beer Pairings for the Week of February 6th, 2017

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Looking for the perfect brew to go along with your PeachDish meals? We've got you covered. We've partnered with the owners of BeerGirl, a local Atlanta shop, to help you select the perfect beverage. BeerGirl's passionate owners, Alexia Ryan and Erik Lewis opened their shop with the dream of connecting the people of their community with delicious craft beer from the South and beyond. Here are this week's suggested pairings:

Filet Mignon over Buttery Mashed Potatoes- Date Night Kit

3 Course Date Night Kit: Filet Mignon over Buttery Mashed Potatoes + Cheese Course & Flourless Chocolate Cake

When you read three courses, the typical response is to do a pairing for each course. Sure you can do that. However, there is a different tact-- the opportunity to try one beer with three different foods. For this meal of a cheese plate, steak, and chocolate cake, we need a beer that can stand up to the challenges. We choose the Baltic Porter for this task with the malt bill of a porter but lagered with bottom feeding yeast. This combination produces a beer with chocolate and coffee notes that drinks amazingly clean. That cleanliness will make the cheese stand out while the coffee and chocolate flavors will pair nicely with the steak and chocolate cake proving beer is a versatile meal companion.

Suggestion: Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter, Farmville, North Carolina

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3 Course Date Night Kit: Spicy Wild Alaskan Cod Curry + Cheese Course & Flourless Chocolate Cake

When you read three courses, the typical response is to do a pairing for each course. Sure you can do that. However, there is a different tact-- the opportunity to try one beer with three different foods. For this meal of a cheese plate, fish, and chocolate cake we need a beer that can stand up to the challenges. (Where have I read that before?) For this combination, we suggest a saison. Why saison? Well to me a saison is like the white wine of the beer world-- able to go from a cheese plate where it clears the palate to the fish course where the sweetness enhances the taste of fish. Finally, at the desert course, the saison brings a little bitterness that highlights the bitterness in chocolate, which is why coffee pairs so well with chocolate dessert.

Suggestion: Blackberry Farm Classic Saison, Walland, Tennessee

Date Night Kit- Creamy Egg Noodles with Mushrooms

3 Course Date Night Kit: Creamy Egg Noodles with Mushrooms + Cheese Course & Flourless Chocolate Cake

When you read three courses, the typical response is to do a pairing for each course. Sure you can do that. However, there is a different tact-- the opportunity to try one beer with three different foods. For this meal of a cheese plate, mushrooms, and chocolate cake we need a beer that can stand up to the challenges. (Why do those same four sentences keep appearing?) For this course, I think we need a hefeweizen. Wheat beers have a long history as a cheese accompaniment, just like wheat crackers. They allow the cheese to shine off of the sweetness of the wheat. For the noodles and mushrooms, a wheat beer will provide a contrast to the umami mushrooms. Finally, for the chocolate cake a hefeweizen will bring a complementary banana flavor to each bite.

Suggestion: Weihenstephaner Vitus, Freising, Germany

Green Wheat Pilaf

Green Wheat Pilaf with Sweet Potato & Gruyere

This dish provides an interesting reason to discuss how malts are treated in beer. Harvested malt is considered wet, meaning it has water trapped inside the husk. That water can change the flavor of the beer if the malt is used too soon. For that reason, the malts brewers use are dried by time or by actually roasting of the grains. This wheat dish will need a complementary wheat beer.

Suggestion: Heavy Seas Smooth Sail, Halethorpe, Maryland

Chicken Breast with Green Onion and Roasted Potato

Chicken Breast with Roasted Green Onions & Potatoes

Germany is known for lagering. The yeasts native to the region are more adapt at slower cold fermentation. However, Germany does produce ale. Not every German beer is a lager, though in a nod to tradition their ale yeast does tend to ferment at temperatures that would leave other ale yeast dormant. The Alt beer is a prime example of a beer made with a top fermenting yeast that is made at a cooler temperature. For this dish of bold flavors featuring thyme and roasted green onions, we suggest a hoppy alt beer as the perfect accompaniment.

Suggestion: Victory Ten Years Alt, Downington, Pennsylvania

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Arugula Salad with Roasted Mushrooms & Turnips

Smoke in beer is a subject that can bring craft beer fans to fisticuffs. Some think smoked beer is like drinking an ashtray, others feel it is barbecue in a glass. We’re on the fence-- drinking a beer with smoke can be a little overpowering; however, they pair wonderfully with a wide variety of dishes. For a dish like this with a lot of umami flavor, consider a smoked beer a complementary flavor. It will keep the palate where it needs to be to truly taste all the flavors of this dish.

Suggestion: Kees Smoked Pecan Porter, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Beef Taco with Red Cabbage Slaw

Beef Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw, Radish & Lime

So why is Mexico all about lagers? Well, a little history: when you are the younger brother of an Austrian Arch­Duke, there is little room in the family business for you, so in a shady deal with Napoleon, you become Emperor of Mexico. What then? You bring Vienna with you and, hence, lagers arrived in Mexico. A crisp lager will complement these tacos, letting them take center stage.

Suggestion: Brooklyn Lager, New York City, New York

Balsamic-Onion Pizza with Arugula

Balsamic-Onion Pizza with Gruyere & Arugula

Pizza and beer; a combination almost as famous as peanut butter and jelly. Normally one would think of a classic American macro adjunct lager-- well not us. This dish with the addition of arugula as a topping reminds us of eating pizza in Berlin. It was the first place we encountered salad on top of a pizza and I remember enjoying it with a hefeweizen. So for this dish, we will recommend pairing it with an actual German hefe.

Suggestion: PInkus Organic Hefe-Weizen, Münster, Germany

Hearty Minestrone

Hearty Minestrone with Beef, Kale, and White Beans

Comfort food evokes good memories and feelings. In the beer world, I can think of nothing more comforting than a classic stout. Something that delivers classic chocolate and coffee flavors in a large malt bill that just makes you feel better. Minestrone soup, a classic stick to your ribs comfort food, deserves a classic stick to your ribs big stout as a complement.

Suggestion: Avery Out of Bounds Stout, Boulder, Colorado Georgia Local Recommendation: Blue Tarp Last Place Stout, Decatur, Georgia

Superfood Salad

SuperFood Salad

Got to say, this is a tough meal for a beer pairing; however, we are up to the task. Brewers love to experiment which leads us to kombucha beer. Is kombucha beer really a beer or is it just hopped kombucha tea? Well, that question is certainly up for debate, but if you are a fan of sour beers and kombucha, it might just be your new go-to drink. With the cornucopia of flavors in this dish, a tart beer with its own superfood might be just the ticket.

Suggestion: Unity Vibration Kombucha Beer, Ypsilanti, Michigan

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Chicken Paprikash with Egg Noodles

Smoke in beer has a long tradition, usually related to over-toasting the malt (the polite way of saying burning). The more toasted the malt, the easier it is to mill; however, over-toasted malt suffers from the husk trapping and concentrating the smoke which can have interesting effects on the grains. There are times when a smoky beer will excel: one of them is when there is a smoky complement, in this case, paprika.

Suggestion: Stone Smoked Porter, Escondido, California

Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding Dessert Kit

Pairing a beer with dessert? Sure, it’s actually a very common thing to do. Beer often has a sweet component that we like to pair with other sweets. In fact, many beers take the dessert as an inspiration from ice cream to pie and everything in between. For this chocolate bread pudding let us pair it with a little chocolate inspired liquid bread.

Suggestion: Smuttynose Big Beer Series: Rocky Road Stout, Hampton, New Hampshire

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